Walla Walla Restaurants
- winechick Feb 12, 2007 03:07 PM
I am planning my first trip to Walla Walla in May, and in researching past posts, it looks like Whitehouse Crawford and 26 Brix are the top two restaurants in town. Any other reccomendations?
re: Steve K
From the Wine Press Northwest blog: 26 Brix has re-opened, and from previous Chowhound posts this is a very good thing:
"26 Brix, the highly touted Walla Walla, Wash., restaurant that abruptly closed the week before Christmas, reopens Wednesday - just in time for Valentines Day.
The restaurant was on the brink of closing for good and had even liquidated its wine cellar when it picked up community support in the form of "angel" investors, according to co-owner Krista McCorkle-Davis.
26 Brix is at the same location at 207 W. Main St. and will feature lower prices and a new menu that offers more "comfort food" in addition to bistro fare."
Do not miss the Whoopemup Cafe in Waitsburg. It's about twenty minutes out of Walla Walla -gorgeous drive, of course- and the food is fantastic. The best we had.
We also enjoyed Whitehouse Crawford and 26 Brix. But we were last in Walla Walla in June. Hopefully someone will review the new 26 Brix.
For wine, Abeja was our absolute favorite. We rented a house in town, but on our next trip we plan to stay in one of the cottages at the Inn at Abeja.
We also recommend a casual walking tour through the historic Walla Walla residential neighborhood. There are some very fine houses.
I've eaten at both Whitehouse and Creektown -- both are really decent. While I am as far from a fast food person as they come, I have to say that the meal I enjoyed most in Walla Walla was at Burgerville. (Am I just off on this one? I was really hungry when I went.) Here's a webpage that describes the place. http://volunteer.blogs.com/winewaves/...
Huh? We have a Burgerville in Walla Walla? Where? Since when?
Locals will tell you that the best burgers in town are at the IceBurg. Through the years with new owners, things have changed at the 'Burg. The usual speads and toppings taste...well, don't taste like the usual. They still make a good milk shake though.
Fast Eddy's puts out a good burger, but the best kept secret on burgers is Barnebys. Best in town. Joe, the original owner of the Ice Burg taught the gang at Barnebys how to make a good burger. Now Barnebys isn't the prettiest of places. Kind of a sports bar, but the front area you can bring in children. The no smoking laws help, also. It's a great burger and they make their own fries - fresh when you order.
There's no Burgerville in Walla Walla. Ice Burg is good, but for a treat, I like the burgers at the bar at Whitehouse Crawford. They come with great fried onions.
26 Brix has reopened and their menu is more casual and prices lower. There Duck Confit hash is fantastic for Sunday brunch, but otherwise, I think 26 Brix is overrated.
There's a great new restaurant in town: Saffron. We had incredible kobe beef cheeks and amazing flatbreads the other day. Definitely worth a visit.
This chowhound loves the Brasserie! My son even commented that I did not complain once during the meal or after. The cassoulet with duck was excellent. Ceasar salad with house drsg, house croutons (shockingly not from a box!) and anchovies, YUM. Saffron always pleases, esp the Berkshire pork belly when it's on the menu.
W-C great food, if overpriced.
FYI burgers at Iceberg, not so good, and I say this at risk of being harmed by locals. It seems they are the WW 'comfort food'. Blah!
Tommy's Dutch Lunch good breakfast, funky crowd.
Go to Hong's in Milton-Freewater for decent American Chinese, although the egg rolls are the strangest I've ever come across, we like them.
Salumiere Cesario for great meats and cheeses, now serving lunch, YUM
This local loves a fantastic new french bistro called Brassiere 24 on Main Street, in the former Grapefields space. I think a woman from Grapefields bought it and redid the space and menu. Excellent mussels, salads, croque monsier (and madames) and can't get enough of those fries! Also open for lunch. Excellent service. Great wine list and nice beers on tap. I agree that Colville Patisserie is excellent for pastries and coffee (and homemade gelatos). I think it was recently sold to one of the people that work there too. We've been disappointed the last couple times we went to Creektown - very bland, but it's usually so good maybe we just had bad timing. Finally Saffron and the pho place next door are both great - same owner runs both.
I had a fantastic dinner at Whitehouse Crawford and just a so so dinner and experience at 26 Brix.
Everything at WC was spot on, the service, the wine list and the food. Two memorable dishes were the spinach, smoked trout salad with bacon and I know we are sick of the molten chocolate cake but I had their twice baked chocolate cake and it was perfect.
I was at 26 Brix early October and I thought the bar menu was more interesting than the menu in the dining room. Our server was not great, forgot my wine paring and nothing I ate was memorable.
You have to go to Colville St. Patisserie (and please bring me back some Macaroons!) Everything is good, enough said.
A couple of other recommendations for you:
CreekTown Cafe - it looks like an Applebee's from the outside but the food is really tasty and the ambiance very comfortable. There was a mix of locals and out of towners the Saturday night we were there. Save room for pie...they have over 20+ deserts. I had halibut with a tomato relish and my friend had the best pork chop I have ever tasted.
Sweet Basil Pizzeria - great lunch spot downtown
Whoopemup Hollow Cafe - it Waitsburg, good southern comfort food. Gumbo, fried green tomatoes, coca cola cake.
As a local and a member of the WW wine community, these are my suggestions...
First off, DO NO EAT AT 26 BRIX. Yes, they have reopened, but I've eaten there three times and each time I had a problem with either the service and/or the food. It's really overrated.
These are the places I prefer,
Breakfast: Clarette's (15 S Touchet St) - Basic breakfast food. Try the pumpkin pancakes.
Colville St. Patisserie (40 S Colville St) - This place is great for either breakfast or dessert. I especially like the croissants with herbed goat cheese.
Lunch: Luscious by Nature (33 S Colville St) - Decent prices, nice local wine list, sandwiches, wraps, salads. They try to use fresh and local ingredients.
Iceburg Drive-In (9th St) - Cheap eats. I'd compare their burgers to Kidd Valley in Seattle. Try the onion rings because they're made with Walla Walla sweet onions. The shakes are tasty too.
Salumiere Cesario (20 N 2nd Ave) - This isn't a sit-down place, but if you're planning on going wine tasting you can stop here early in the day and get bread, cheese, and salami to take out tasting with you. He's got a great selection, you can check out what he's got here. http://www.salumierecesario.com/produ...
Dinner: Creektown Cafe (1129 S 2nd Ave) - Every time my parents come to visit they want to eat at Creektown. The food is consistantly great, the wine selection is local and always changing, and the desserts are tasty (leave room!
)Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen (125 W Alder) - Make sure to get a reservation, their space is small (they have an open kitchen) and they are always busy (locals love it too!). Their menu is always changing but they use local, organic products and usually have Moroccan, Mediterranean, and North African style food.
Whoopemup Hollow Cafe (125 Main St, Waitsburg) - You'll have to drive about 20 minutes east of Walla Walla to go here, but it's definitely worth it. Southern Creole style food. GREAT wine selections, fun atmosphere. Hit up Jim German bar while you're there, he'll cut the prosciutto at the table for you! Amazing drinks too, nice space.
Brasserie Four (4 E Main St) - I've only have drinks and appetizers here, but I had a great time and have heard that dinner is just as great. Much more low key and delicious French food than 26 Brix and the service was fantastic.
Everyone suggests Whitehouse Crawford and I do love it there, but if you're looking for something a little bit more special and unique in Walla Walla, I'd try one of the suggestions above. But if you do go to Whitehouse, the crispy fried sweet onions are not to be missed.
On a side note (not that you asked), wineries not to be missed are Walla Walla Vintners, Five Star, Reininger, Seven Hills, Tamarack, Va Piano, and Tertulia.
I have to agree with hickdolphin - Creektown is definitely not what it use to be, although some things can still be good. I'm not local but we go to Walla Walla at least 4 or 5 times a year and try all the restaurants. So far, we still like Whitehouse Crawford the best, even though some have said it isn't as good as it use to be either - I disagree. Saffrons is very good. I think Whoopemup is a fun place to go and they serve a ridiculous amount of food, but it's not gourmet by any means. Still, it's worth the drive. As for lunch at Luscious by Nature - nope.... When we went it was WAY too crowded, had to wait forever for our lunch, it was kind of pricey for what we got and it wasn't anything to rave about. I also nix Brassiere 24 - they might have good food, I don't know. We showed up there starving for lunch about 10 minutes before their advertised closing time. We seated ourselves and after sitting for about 5 minutes, someone came over and said "we aren't serving anymore". So I don't feel too kindly to them. One place you definitely do NOT want to eat at is the Marcus Whitman hotel. Ick!
regarding the Brassiere, it's brassiere 4, not 24. We've been there a half dozen times since they've opened and they're a GREAT new addition to the WW food scene. I'm not surprised at the response you got. What would you expect in any restaurant 10 minutes before closing? Also, they are not a "seat yourself" place, there's usually waitstaff or a host/hostess to direct you, so that may have sent the wrong message.
I'd suggest giving them another try because it's really very good. The service is good, the drinks are well chosen. awesome soups, salads, and pizzas. the only problem I had with the food was when they first opened and things were a little under-seasoned but they seem to have fine tuned that.
As an added bonus, they sell coffee beans from Stumptown Roasters (Portland), which ...if you're into really high quality coffee is a nice option to have in town.
What do I expect? When a restaurant has a sign on their door that says they serve lunch until 2pm, then I expect they serve lunch until 2pm. Otherwise, they should have hung out the closed sign. As for seating ourselves - we stood there for 5 minutes waiting for someone to acknowledge us, which they didn't. There was no hostess stand or sign so we figured it must be seat yourself. I will give it a try again though since everyone says it's good.
I have to agree with you wawine.......while it may seem inconvenient to some to come in right before a place closes, it sometimes cannot be avoided and as a paying guest (i hate the word "customer"), they should've taken the same care of you as someone who came at noon.I suspect they were hoping if they ignored you you would go away and that there M.O.D. was either not around or incompetebt....As a rest. owner, when we say lunch from 11-2 that means we SEAT until 2...ditto woth dinner from 5-10 etc,etc.I wish restaurants would realize how damaging it is to turn a guest away for ANY reason.....even before the economy went south.....it is just anathema to the entire point of trying to have a quality food service establishment. Guests are there to be taken care of , you take care of their needs, they give you money....if that is an inconvenience, you are i the wrong business....CHEERS!
We've also been to 26 brix a number of times and I'd agree that things were never entirely together. the food was good but not great and a little pricy for the quality (really good fries though). the service was slow. overall, it's a good stop but a little overrated/overpriced. I am sorry to see that they're closing though, the Thundering Hooves burger was always a good "go to" and it's a great building. best of luck to Mike in his next venture.
Clarettes: went once, reminded me of Denny's. A better place for breakfast IMO is Mr.Eds, tasty corned beef hash.
Patisserie: always good, can't go wrong. love the fact that they're open late(ish) serving coffee, tea, and belgian ales.
Lucious: hit or miss, not really as seasonal and fresh as they say they are. nice place for a drink and a bite. nice wine list, good cocktails. not trans-fat free (margarine) if you're concerned about that kind of thing.
Creektown: lunch is better than dinner, the food tends to be underseasoned so I'd agree with others who say they don't see the big deal. the atmosphere is nice, and they are using local, so that's good. but it's pretty hit or miss and overpriced.
saffron and phosho are both VERY good, can't go wrong. try the garlicky chicken wings at phosho if they have them.
whoopemup is always good, bring your appetite and hope you like spicy. try the gumbo.
brasserie 4: very good, fun casual atmosphere and service. can't go wrong.
whitehouse crawford: impressive but some would say pricy, not overpriced, just more of a fine dining option.
burgers: iceberg is fine, I haven't tried fast eddies yet. I haven't found a standout burger in town yet (well, the one at 26 brix was good but...). for grab and go lunch the sandwhiches at Cugini or the mexican food at The Worm Ranch (both on Wallula Ave) are good bets.
I live here in beautiful Walla Walla after moving from Portland about 5 years ago. I go out to eat way more than I should, and am always trying to find something interesting.
My understanding is that Luscious by Nature is also closing it's doors, there is just a limit on how many restaurants this town can sustain. Saffron, even though they have the best fallafel I have had in years, I don't bother, I've had such crappy service.!
Brasserie 4 is amazing! from the bread they bring you to nibble with wine to incredible salads, and sandwiches. The have a little nook for kids too, which is nice for us parents. As far as them not serving you, the economic climate is such, I can't imagine anyone turning a customer away.
My favorite place for a burger is the Green Lattern. They make them using the same beef (Thundering Hooves) as WhiteHouse Crawford, yet it's much better, and more reasonable.
Totally disagree about Aloha Sushi, it's awesome, I have to have my "Gary Roll" fix about once a week and I find their lunches down right cheap. Next door is WildBerries. Judith has an amazing sense of what fresh and seasonal food can be, but I grow tired of her constant complaining.
The Italian Bistro (formerly Homestead) is iffy at best, sadly, I had hopes. However, T. Macaroni's is very good, pricey, but yummy.
I've heard that the Thai restaurant on 9th is fabulous, and last night I discovered there is another one opening up on Spokane ? Ave, can't keep up with the openings and closings.
One place not mentioned is Vintage Cellars, although their menu seems somewhat inconsistant, the food is always quite good, and the have a fabulous by the glass wine selection.
Cheese Louise, out in eastgate, although a bit hard to find, a delight. I've had him prepare a platter to take on a wine tasting adventure. It was fabulous, and incredibly reasonable!
The new Ming Court is very good, the food isn't saturated in as much fat as I've had at many chinese places.
I've only been to Aloha Sushi once and for me it was not good. It felt overpriced for the quality and the chicken had the texture and taste of pre-cooked, re-heated meat. Yuck!
I love Brasserie Four. We're in there probably 2x a week. The anchovy pizza is one of my favorites, that and a glass of wine = heaven.
I haven't tried the burger at The Green Lantern yet, but I will. I prefer the burger at Fast Eddie's over The Iceburg, local fav or not it's just not the best burger in town (IMO).
Both 26 Brix and Lucsious were in great buildings/locations so I hope new, quality restaurants will give it a go here in Walla Walla.
Of the places mentioned here so far, our favorites are Saffron, Sweet Basil (for good pizza), and Salumiere Cesario. Let me explain about the last place. While it is essentially a kind of deli, they also serve sandwiches made-to-order that are absolutely delicious. The tomato and cheese sandwich is like none I've ever had. The highest quality ingredients are used.
For soft tacos, there is no better place than Taqueria Yungapeti on 9th. The tacos there are better than Tino's. Among the variety of meat fillings, the simplest (carne asada) was the best. And you can top it all off with one of several homemade salsas from the salsa bar. Best of all, the prices are really reasonable.
Outside of WW, we also very much liked Whoopemup in Waitsburg and Manila Bay Asian Cafe in Dayton.
Well as a local I have to disagree on the burger. I have not had good luck at the Fast Eddies The Ice burg is Ok but I always have to wait to long I think the best burgers in town are at Mr. Ed's . He has a large variety of burgers since he redid the menu about 2 months ago. they are awsome! Good tasting meat fresh toppings, and great fries. And they are very healthy portions.
Just got back from Walla Walla-
Brasserie Four on E. Main- perfect meal!!! The Green Lantern Tavern- locals joint great beer selection. Ice-Burg Drive In- YUM coffee milkshake. Saffron-okay but not my favorite. Walla Walla Farmers market is fantastic. Love the chocolate truffles at Petits Noirs- Milton-Freewater- Lovely!
Just returned from a wine run in Walla Walla. Had a wonderful dinner at Creektown Cafe! The last few times I have been a little dissapointed with them but we couldn't get in anywhere else on Bastille Day so we went there and were definitely not dissapointed this time. Yummy! We ate lunch at Brasserie Four and it was very good although our quiches were barely warm (ones that should be hot). However, I'm going to give them another try for dinner on the next trip. Ate at Whitehouse Crawford our last night and had the Kobe steak. It tasted perfect but it was awfully small (waiter said 6 oz, but I would believe maybe 4 oz) for the high price (I think it was $39 and just came with fries). The service was not as good as I remembered and it wasn't that busy. I think for the price, we'll skip them next time.
You all should try Fat Cat's Tavern for a good burger! Pete knows the grill, and you'll get a little local 'flavor' with the clientele!
I go to Walla Walla yearly, but the focus is on wineries and hiking, not the food :) It is not really a "fine dining" kind of town...But-
I have eaten at two places that ( that are still open) and that were memorable meals- lunch at Brasserie Four and dinner at The Marc (Marcus Whitman hotel). Both places were very nice, but maybe not 'fine dining" ...more like casual Northwest style fine dining, sort of :)
Brasserie Four is French inspired, small menu, bistro type food -more than fine dining French food,not real creative -but well done. Good value, nice wines but not NW wine themed. I remember having a chicken dish that I thought needed more taste but a really delicious green pea soup was very delicate and nuanced. A real qualifier for me is that French food (in general) is not my favorite outside of France :/ I have only had lunch here but I would think it would be nice for dinner.
The Marc is in the hotel (which is gorgeous)much more upscale and "fine dining" in atmosphere and menu- but not in price.It is very inexpensive(like 35 bucks for a dinner). I have had dinner there many times, including this year. I think the restaurant is improving yearly and is breaking away from the "hotel food" category. Northwest food and NW wines to be sure! Seafood/steak kind of menu again, not creative but well done. I remember I had steak and it was done perfectly.
I have also had happy hour in the lounge at MW hotel on several occasions. They have a very nice, dark fireplace lounge with an "upscale" bar menu. We stay here when wine tasting in the spring or winter and really enjoy the hotel- and walking around the town after dinner.The breakfasts there are decent ( buffet style) with good coffee (!) and champagne/mimosa/bloody mary, etc. as well.